U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed a flurry of angry tweets Sunday morning following a report from the New York Times that White House counsel Don McGahn participated in interviews totaling 30 hours over nine months as part of Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation.
In several interviews, McGahn described Trump’s fury toward special counsel Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and links between the president’s campaign and Moscow, according to the Times.
The Times reported that McGahn provided the investigators “detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice.” This included Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director James B. Comey, Trump’s attempt to ensure control of the investigation and his obsession with putting someone loyal in charge of the inquiry.
An enraged Trump responded to the report on Twitter, calling it a “fake piece” and claimed that he allowed McGahn and others to testify.
Dean was White House counsel to Richard Nixon during Watergate, but ultimately cooperated with prosecutors. He later pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.
Trump also claimed, without evidence, that several members of the media had called him to “complain and apologize” and compared Mueller’s investigation to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s search for Communists in the U.S. government in the 1950s.
According to the Times, McGahn became concerned that Trump planned to set him up to be held responsible for any potential illegal incidents of obstruction, citing people close to him. McGahn and his attorney came up with a strategy to cooperate extensively with the Mueller investigation in order to prove that there was no wrongdoing on his part.
Trump took aim at other familiar targets, including Hillary Clinton, former FBI director James Comey and fired FBI agent Peter Strzok
Trump recently stripped former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance, in a move widely criticized as an abuse of power.
Other former officials — fired FBI director James Comey, fired deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe and FBI agent Peter Strzok — are among those reported to be under threat of having their security clearances revoked.
Dean, now a CNN contributor and author, told Slate that he sees similarities between the Russia investigation and Watergate.
“I see a lot of similarity in the bungling,” Dean said. “Watergate was not a carefully planned crime and cover-up. It was one bungled event after another. I see the same thing happening with Trump.”
“Don McGahn is doing exactly the right thing, not merely to protect himself, but to protect his client. And his client is not Donald Trump; his client is the office of the president.”